Therapeutic liver reconstitution with murine cells isolated long after death

Laura Erker, Hisaya Azuma, Andrew Y. Lee, Changsheng Guo, Susan Orloff, Laura Eaton, Eric Benedetti, Bryan Jensen, Milton Finegold, Holger Willenbring, Markus Grompe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Due to the shortage of donor organs, many patients needing liver transplantation cannot receive one. For some liver diseases, hepatocyte transplantation could be a viable alternative, but donor cells currently are procured from the same sources as whole organs, and thus the supply is severely limited. Methods: Here, we investigated the possibility of isolating viable hepatocytes for liver cell therapy from the plentiful source of morgue cadavers. To determine the utility of this approach, cells were isolated from the livers of nonheart-beating cadaveric mice long after death and transplanted into fumarylacetoacetate hydrolasedeficient mice, a model for the human metabolic liver disease hereditary tyrosinemia type I and a stringent in vivo model for hepatic cell transplantation. Results: Surprisingly, complete and therapeutic liver repopulation could be achieved with hepatocytes derived up to 27 hours post mortem. Conclusions: Competitive repopulation experiments showed that cadaveric liver cells had a repopulation capacity similar to freshly isolated hepatocytes. Importantly, viable hepatocytes also could be isolated from cadaveric primate liver (monkey and human) efficiently. These data provide evidence that nonheart-beating donors could be a suitable source of hepatocytes for much longer time periods than previously thought possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1029
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Fumarylacetoacetate Hydrolase (Fah)-Deficient Mice
  • Hepatocytes
  • Hereditary Tyrosinemia Type I
  • Liver Disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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